Friday, December 09, 2022

The Letter: Focus on Hickory’s Current Residents Instead of Trying to Attract New People

More recently, US News and World Report ranked Hickory as the #1 cheapest place to live in the United States, with other rankings such as #31 overall best place to live. And while Hickory has much to offer, it is important to shed light on some of the harmful processes that are going on right now that are being carried out at the expense of many members of our community. These rankings, while they represent some of the wonderful parts of Hickory, fail to reflect some of Hickory’s deeper infrastructure issues that remain unresolved at the cost of looking like a desirable area to live in.

Projects such as City Walk have highlighted the aspects that make Hickory a desirable place to live, drawing citizens into a soon-to-be 10-mile walk that explores Hickory’s various attractions as well as nature’s beautiful, Attention to a variety of quantities. The city is But while this project has a lot of potential, there are dozens of other reasons that could be of great benefit if they were allocated the same amount of money.

City Walk itself is a $14.3 million project. If that amount was allocated to causes such as affordable housing and transportation, communities would benefit immediately and face a better quality of life. It is no secret that Hickory is a city that is facing a vast wealth and housing divide between different areas of the city and investments in projects such as city walks tend to ignore today’s current problems. This tactic is very harmful to current residents, and not to mention exacerbates harmful processes such as gentrification, which are already going strong in many areas of Hickory today.

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With rumors of plans to redevelop historically black communities such as Ridgeview, it is clear that these plans are only made to appeal to wealthy individuals looking to move here. The needs of Hickory’s current residents, especially those in need of help, have been completely thrown out the window. The lack of reliable public transportation, grocery stores in areas that are not predominantly white, and basic maintenance of essential resources such as sidewalks, are some of the other deeply rooted infrastructure issues that need to be fixed immediately in Hickory.

The city needs to stop focusing on attracting newcomers, when there are still thousands of individuals who have been here for decades who need help right now.

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